The Claude Leon Foundation


The Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP) is a mature NGO with a proven track record of working successfully with teachers and the Education Department for over 20 years during periods of massive curriculum change. The programme operates through the delivery of ongoing educational development projects with over 1 000 teacher beneficiaries from more than 120 schools each year.
With the support of the Claude Leon Foundation the PSP successfully consolidated and expanded one of its core projects - the Joint Mentorship Project (JMP) - a two-year programme of mentorship and support for first-time teachers. The project constitutes a groundbreaking partnership linking the work of the Western Cape Education Department; the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the PSP. This partnership focuses on collaborating to support first-time teachers during their entry into the profession. These teachers face enormous challenges as they are integrated into schools, especially schools located in disadvantaged communities.
This entry period is understood to be a critical time in the professional life of a teacher, a period when inadequacies are insufficiently addressed and poor teaching habits often develop. Thus the PSP, together with its partners, has employed a strategy to ensure that first-time teachers are better able to bridge the theory-practice divide, deliver quality education to children, and in a short space of time become the leaders in the schools where they work. At the same time, UWC is gaining the opportunity to reflect on and improve their pre-service teacher education courses. As many teachers are currently approaching retirement age it is essential that we have a highly competent cohort of young teachers to take their place. 


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